I have been thinking about quite a bit lately. I am a Christian and come from a fairly Christian background. I know quite a few people who have either left the faith or are not as active as they once were. I am kind of having doubts about certain things. I am not to the point that I don’t believe or even planning on leaving. Has anyone ever been in a situation where they left the faith? If you are active now are you certain you would never leave? What would make you consider leaving?
I am certain I would never leave because I know my God exists and I can’t imagine leaving Him when He has never left me. I also can’t imagine turning away and ending up in Hell. If you personally need someone to talk to about certain situations, I am here. You can message me if you want
I would pray about it and ask God to let you know He is there. He won’t always do it immediately, it takes time.
@Lalk2bee: You can believe in god and not be a Christian. Christianity doesn’t have a patent on god!
@crayfish: According to Dictionary.com it says a Christian is “Professing belief in Jesus as Christ or following the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.” I have never heard of Christian who believed in Jesus but not God…but I am sorry I offended you.
@Kacey23: I haven’t considered leaving the faith or no longer believing, but I have stopped relying so much on what the church/pastor/talking folks said and worked to find answers for myself. Ever since I was little, we’d never been an every Sunday family because we had to travel on the weekends to visit grandparents. My elementary classmates all had relatives in town, so they’d go every Sunday and then attempt to make me feel bad for misisng…I soon figured out that I didn’t want to be a “keep track Christian” and determined that my beliefs, devotion, understanding, and relationships with Jesus and God were for me, not for anyone else.
I prefer to listen to the message when I do go to church, but also to read the Bible and other materials on my own, have thoughtful conversations with other people to work through questions, and find a peace I’m comfortable with. I think that the decrease in devout believers in Christianity and other organized religions stems from refusal of many systems to help people consider the tough questions and focusing instead on strict rules and appearances.
Kacey23 I am a Catholic and about 5 years ago I had major doubts. I went from attending church weekly to maybe once a month and I didn’t do the sacraments (confesion, eucharist, etc…) because it just didn’t feel right if I didn’t truly believe. I started questioning the belief system because of a betrayal.
I gave it a few years and slowly started to get more and more involved. Now I am almost back to feeling like before.
You don’t mention your age, but it is common for young adults to feel this way and to question things. Do what is in your heart It is also difficult to lead a Christian lifestyle in this secular world
I grew up Christain but there have been times in my life where I have walked away. Sometimes for several years. Not where I didn’t believe that Jesus was my savior or stopped praying but where I lived for myself and without any convictions..and basically picked and choosed what I wanted to believe and follow in the bible . Well those times in my life where the darkest and loneliest for me. Where I made the biggest mistakes and have the most regret. Having a lot of Christain (and non Christain friends) any Christain friend of mine who has grown up in the faith and has “walked away” has always come back realizing life is better for them when they have a close relationship with God and live for something greater than themselves and pray for God guidance and will for their life.
Maybe read some books on faith or listen to audiobooks and explore your feelings. Have you always gone to the same church or denomination? Perhaps your beliefs are evolving and you might consider a different church would fill your needs.
@Lalk2bee: I think she meant that if you believe in God it doesn’t make you a Christian. For example, part of FI’s family are Jewish. They believe in God but they aren’t Christian. Hence her statement that “You can believe in god and not be a Christian. Christianity doesn’t have a patent on god!”
You can believe in God without believing in Jesus.
I’ve never walked away from my faith (I could never be an atheist no matter how hard I try), but I have kind of given up on the church.
I fully believe that I can have my own relationship with Christ without being surrounded by people who I believe have strayed even further than the people they judge.
I have been in and out of the church for years but my love for Jesus Christ has never left. He is my savor, my father, my best friend, my therapist; My everything. I am fufilled because of God and I could never leave him because He has never considered leaving me.
If you ask God to show himself to you in a way that only you would recognize, then He will do it for you.
You can leave the church without losing your beliefs in God or a creator. I was raised Methodist but the dogma never sat well with me. I left the church when I was 16, and left Christianity when I was 17. I went back and forth between agnosticism and atheism for years. Now I consider myself Pagan, but I’m solitary and still fairly agnostic. I live a good life and I have never regretted my decision. For me, being the good Christian who sent to church weekly and bible study and choir practice felt disingenuous and not quite right. I asked a lot of questions but people didnt want to debate or explain, they wanted me to just take it at face value. I am not that kind of person. Questioning things shouldn’t threaten them, it should strengthen it because you have reflected and come to that decision on your own terms.
If you are losing faith then ask why, and why right now. Has it always been like this and you didn’t want to admit it? What has changed? You could try taking a break or reaching out and exploring other avenues. What about going to a Unitarian Universalist church untill you have a clearer idea of what is best for you right now. You can always rejoin your church if you want to go back to it later.
Depends what you mean by “leaving the faith”. If you leave your church because you don’t like the way they do things, and you feel that they are misinterpreting or twisting scripture, some people might say that is leaving the faith. This is not necessarily so. I would say a similar thing for people who stop going to church because they can’t find one which ministers to them correctly.
Now, if you honestly feel that you no longer believe in God, and that God does not exist, then you have left the faith. I mean, that’s the point of faith. You either have it or you don’t. I wouldn’t say that was a choice… it’s something very intrinsic to who you are, and only you can answer that question.
@Kacey23: I left. I became a Christian when I was 12, was baptized at 17, and by the time I was 20, I had serious doubts, many unanswered questions and I was just generally dissatisfied. I identify now as agnostic.
I’ve definitely had my ups and down in my walk with the Lord. There was two years that I now refer to as my time in the wilderness. For me, there are times when I just know the Lord is with me, His Spirit just nudges. I don’t know how to explain it, I don’t think people will know what I’m talking about unless they’ve experienced it. (1 Corinthians 1:18 talks about this in relation to understanding salvation,.) I remember being so confused. I wanted to believe, but I found myself plagued with doubts. I remember crying out to the Lord for just a glimpse that He was still there, just one more nudge. I came to the point where I just decided, I’m going to try and pursue Him then! I made a simple commitment to read one psalm a day and just see where it took me. I found that as I pursued Him, I felt a hunger to know Him more. My prayers started to change. They were no longer just about me and my feelings, but instead about just wanting to know the Lord and bring Him glory. His Word had spoken to my heart to testify of the things the Lord has done for this world, His creation (let alone me)! There was no magic formular to get out of the wilderness, but one day I just realized, “It’s alright. He’s here.”
I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t struggle with doubt occasionally, or “dry spells” in my walk with the Lord. I’d just advise you to talk to Him about it, nothing fancy – even just a “Lord, I don’t know what I need, but You do. Help.” Don’t give up, even if the feelings don’t come right away. In Matthew 7:7, the Lord says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Jeremiah 29:11-14 shares similar sentiments: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Plans to complete you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord.”
May the Lord bless you in your pursuit of Him. May you find water for your thirsty soul (John 4) and peace in knowing Him as your Saviour and Redeemer.